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Cut Halo 3 levels

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

This page discusses elements of deleted material and cut content. Some information on the page is sourced from game files and may not be verifiable through external sources. Where possible, such information should be clearly-marked and replaced with a proper external source as soon as one is available.
A screenshot of the campaign level select in the Halo 3 Alpha.
A look at the campaign level selection in the Halo 3 Alpha, showcasing the original selection of intended missions with their in-development names.
Early design document for the progression of Halo 3's campaign, taken from the GDC talk Environment Design in Halo 3.
An early design document, showing the original planned progression of campaign levels in Halo 3.
Image of a cut G4h-Du5H to use in Halopedia templates. Do not add to pages.

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Halo 3 cut content

Cut content


To check out cut content for other Halo games, see here!

During the development of Halo 3, a number of levels were cut or changed dramatically.

Cut campaign levels[edit]

Tsavo Township[edit]

A level named "Tsavo Township" was referenced by Vic DeLeon briefly on Twitter, as a map he still had some images of.[1] This may be the map DeLeon referred to as an "Old Mombasa" test in another tweet.[2] It is unclear whether this map is an internal codename for a final shipped level such as The Storm, or an internal prototype that never made ship.

Flood Ship[edit]

Main article: Flood Ship

Flood Ship, also known as 060_floodship was a cut level set after Floodgate and taking place in the crashed Flood ship in Voi. The original objective of the level was to detonate the ship's reactor and escape. However, due to time constraints and other development issues, much of this was cut and reworked into the final version of Cortana.[3][4][5][6] Though it was present as a selectable level in the Halo 3 Alpha. More detailed information about the level can be found here and here.

In the end, in the idea of the playable Floodship space was conjoined onto Floodgate; Objects used in that section of the level can still be found in the 060_floodship folder in the Halo 3 Mod Tools. The original objective of the level is still mentioned in the final version of Floodgate despite there being a different one: "Find the crashed Flood ship; overload its engine core." as stated by Miranda Keyes.

Guardian Forest[edit]

Main article: Guardian Forest

Guardian Forest, also known as 080_forest was a cut level[7] set between The Ark and The Covenant[8]. The level was set in a large forest on Installation 00 and was to feature a new enemy, the Guardian.[9][10]


Main article: Alpine (cut Halo 3 level)

alpine, known as 090_alpine in the game files, is a cut campaign mission viewable in the Halo 3 game files due to the release of the Halo 3 Mod Tools. The folder itself contains no files of particular note, but the name itself reveals several details. The name alpine describes the kind of terrain the mission was intended to have - perfectly matching the landscapes found in the final game level of The Covenant - itself known as 100_citadel. The 100 designation clashes with another cut level, 100_forecity, due to the fact that 090_alpine and 100_forecity were combined to become 100_citadel.[11] This process was done fairly early on in development.[12]

When the aforementioned Guardian Forest level was cut, the planned Hornet sections were transplanted into The Covenant[9][10], indicating that this major restructuring likely occurred around the same time as - or because - of the dropping of Guardian Forest.


Main article: Forerunner City

The level in the Mod Tools files referred to as 100_forecity likely corresponds with Forerunner City, a map developed by Paul Russel for the purposes of experimenting with Forerunner architectural design. Although described by Russell and Vic DeLeon as a map primarily used to demonstrate new technologies for the Xbox 360 and new engine, designer Dan Miller is also on record as mentioning that he was assigned as a designer on this level - indicating it was at one point intended to be a playable level space.[13]

Early campaign levels[edit]

High Charity[edit]

Main article: highcharity

High Charity, also known as 110_hc_old, comprises the original layout of the mission Cortana, prior to the level being cut-down and replaced with portions of the map designed for Flood Ship.[3][4]

Multiplayer maps[edit]

A number of multiplayer maps were considered for inclusion in Halo 3, including several that did not make the final cut. Notably, the maps "Wall of Cotton" and "Shaft" do not match any known development names for released multiplayer maps, nor fit the theme of any released in the final game. Known details on "Shaft" are detailed further down this page. The document also shows remakes of the maps Hang 'Em High, Blood Gulch and Lockout as considered for inclusion - the latter of which eventually making its way into the game as Blackout.[16]

In the Halo 3 component of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a number of seemingly-leftover .mapinfo files were removed from the game at some point during the flighting process. These maps contain the aforementioned "shaft", alongside a presently-unknown map referenced as "volcano". The files also reference maps named "landslide", "damn", "beachhead", and "warthog_inc" and "pump_haus", discussed in-detail further down this page.

During the development of Halo 3: ODST, the game project was forked from Halo 3 during the downloadable content production cycle. As such, many in-progressed and unused DLC maps developed for ODST remain in the working directory and were included in the July 2023 update for the Halo 3: ODST Editing Kit.[17] These maps include "anxiety", "desecration", "battlecreek", and the aforementioned "beachhead", "damn", "landslide", and "warthog_inc"; all are detailed further down this page.


"Anxiety" is one of the work-in-progress DLC maps included in the Halo 3: ODST modding toolkit as of the July 2023 update. It is a unique case among Halo multiplayer maps, as its origins lie in the original Halo Custom Edition modding community for PC in the early 2000s; the map is a remake of a Halo PC map of the same name created by modders Mothergoat and Jason Keith, who goes by the username Mrs. Doublefire. During the production of the Halo 3 map Heretic, Keith was hired to work at Bungie on a remote contract, and evidently worked on incorporating anxiety into Halo 3 in some form.[18] The original Custom Edition map can be downloaded from here.

The map is symmetrical in layout and uses the Ark skybox from regular Halo 3. It is set in a box canyon with a base at each end and a bridge going over the top of the map. Each team gets a M12 Chaingun Warthog and a M274 Mongoose.

Battle Creek[edit]

A remake of the Halo: Combat Evolved map Battle Creek was considered at some point in the Halo 3 production process, with a revision of the map geo and skybox present in the ODST modding files. The map is untextured, displaying only a UV checker texture, and utilises the skybox from the Warthog run at the end of the final campaign level Halo. The map is set on Installation 08, with the ring visible in the sky alongside the Ark.


Beachhead is a map more familiar to Halo players as the map Tempest, later included in the Noble Map Pack DLC for Halo: Reach. The map was worked on as early as October 2007, shortly after Halo 3's launch, though ultimately never released. It was later finished off in the aforementioned Reach DLC, and included in an incomplete state in the ODST modding tools.[19][20] Unlike the release version of Tempest, this one take more of an influence from the tropical beach palette used on the map Last Resort, though otherwise has very few layout changes from the version eventually released for players.


"Damn" is another work-in-progress DLC map recovered in the ODST modding toolkit. The map is a restored playable version of the A2 Hydroelectric Facility seen in the final section of the campaign level Sierra 117. The map has had several adjustments from its campaign iteration, featuring a new night setting, an un-destroyed bridge that can be traversed, and spawns for weapons, equipment, and objectives.


"Desecration" is a map included in the ODST modding files, seemingly intended to replicate the aesthetics of the Flood-infested Covenant interiors found in the main campaign. Similarly to the interior of the crashed battlecruiser Indulgence of Conviction in Floodgate or High Charity in Cortana, the map features Covenant architecture overtaken by what seems to be Flood growths with a crashed D77H-TCI Pelican atop. The map has lots of vertical play, with ordnance pods scattered around to provide weapons and multiple gravity lifts to aid traversal.


Little is known of "Gauntlet" - the map was used in development to test a variety of objective-based gamemodes that ultimately never appeared in the final release of Halo 3. Interestingly, concept sketches for the map layout suggest the idea of Halo 3 including several classes including "Assault", "Rifleman" and "Warthog Dude".[21]


"Landslide" is a large Big Team Battle map with a very similar art theming to Valhalla, reusing the bases and skybox from that map alongside the general palette of environment textures and trees. The map itself is a rough horseshoe shape, with a single team base at either end. The two bases are both situated at the lowest point on the map, with the map inclining toward the middle of the horseshoe - the top of the hill contains a third, neutral base. Each team gets a Warthog and a Scorpion tank, with the middle base containing a Ghost and a Warthog.

Monkey Mountain[edit]

The map internally named "Monkey Mountain" was built for the Capture the Flag gametype, and consisted of the attacking team assaulting up a hill (similarly to High Ground) to capture the flag. However, the map had a unique twist in that the attackers could then drop the flag off a cliff next to the base into a river below, at which point a boat could drive the flag back home, similarly to the design of Halo 2's map Relic. The map was ultimately scrapped due to the river mechanic not working well enough to justify including the map. Monkey Mountain was also to include a rideable elevator of some kind.[21]

Design documentation shared by Max Hoberman shows Monkey Mountain as intended for 8-12+ players, and was in development by the time Halo 3 ended pre-production.[16]


The map internally nicknamed "Pump Haus"[16] or "Pump Haüs"[22] was a small map listed in Hoberman's initial maps outline as intended for 2-4 players.[16] Some released screenshots from close to the end of pre-production show Spartans stood inside the map in a very primitive state. The Spartans are stood inside a cylindrical room with a Ghost in the bottom. The upper levels of the room are surrounded by balconies and ledges, indicating this chamber is the focal point of the map.[23][22]

Pump Haus' name, visuals, and theme, notably closely match the map Powerhouse featured in Halo: Reach. It is unknown whether the two had a direct connection.


Shaft was originally a map cut from Halo 2. It was reconsidered for Halo 3 in Max Hoberman's documentation as a large Big Team Battle map,[16] though was ultimately cut again. Shaft will be the subject of the Digsite restoration process in the future.[24]

Warthog Inc[edit]

The map internally codenamed "Warthog Inc" was focused on the Territories gametype, and one of the last maps cut from Halo 3. The map was to be set in a location where the titular Warthog was built and tested, and was reported by Chris Carney as "playing really well"; consisting of a collection of five 1-2 storey buildings each containing a territory zone. The map also contained a Warthog "test track" which allowed the player to use vehicles in a medium-sized map, but made movement predictable as to keep them balanced versus infantry. The map was ultimately scrapped as it never hit an "amazing" level of gameplay.[21]

According to multiplayer lead Max Hoberman and tester Dan Callan, the early versions of the map featured some kind of "device machine gimmicks", with Hoberman further clarifying that the map may have had doors in the back that the player could "bust through" - with both unable to fully recall the details exactly.[25][26][27]

Interestingly, Warthog Inc was also included (albeit unplayable) in the files of the Halo 3 beta. Additionally, it seems that Warthog Inc's early blockout geometry can be seen being playtested by Bungie staff in the ViDoc Is Quisnam Protero Damno!. In one shot, the level is seen selected in the custom game lobby, and the geometry shown matches the level icon found in the Halo 3 Delta build.[28] Design documentation shared by Hoberman shows Warthog Inc as intended for 4-8+ players, and was in development by the time Halo 3 ended pre-production.[16]


  1. ^ Twitter, Vic DeLeon (@vicdeleon): "I spent roughly three weeks working on both [The Lost City] and a test for Tsavo Township (which was put on hold) until I was moved over to making multiplayer maps for the Halo2 DLC." (Retrieved on Feb 11, 2022) [archive]
  2. ^ Twitter, Vic DeLeon (@vicdeleon): "It’s still in the archive, along with all my Old Mombasa and Jungle tests!" (Retrieved on Oct 31, 2020) [archive]
  3. ^ a b Bungie Publications, Halo 3 Flood Alien Level Autopsy (Retrieved on Oct 10, 2021) [archive]
  4. ^ a b, Halo 3 Flood Alien Level Autopsy: Original presentation download link (Retrieved on May 3, 2012) [archive]
  5. ^ Twitter, Dan Miller (@dmiller360): "In floodgate you went into the covenant cruiser at the end, correct? Well that was the Cortana geometry. The Floodgate mission was much, much longer. There was original High Charity geometry made for the Cortana mission that was cut due to lack of time." (Retrieved on Oct 10, 2021) [archive]
  6. ^ Twitter, Dan Miller (@dmiller360): "the old original geometry for cortana was cut- that was high charity geometry." (Retrieved on Oct 10, 2021) [archive]
  7. ^ IGN, GDC 09: The Halo 3 Level You Never Played (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  8. ^ YouTube, Halo 3 - Cut Campaign Levels DISCOVERED! (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  9. ^ a b GDC Vault, Building Your Airplane While Flying: Production at Bungie (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  10. ^ a b, Building Your Airplane While Flying: Production at Bungie: Original presentation download (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  11. ^ Twitter, Dan Miller (@dmiller360): "Alpine and Forerunner City become ‘The Covenant’ if I recall correctly." (Retrieved on Feb 28, 2022) [archive]
  12. ^ Twitter, Dan Miller (@dmiller360): "I’m surprised we shipped those scripts at all. I worked on ForeCity but barely. We cut those early." (Retrieved on Feb 28, 2022) [archive]
  13. ^ NeoGAF, Halo - OT14 - They call it Halo: "Developer Insight #9 Everyone here remembers the concept art for Forerunner City, right? Bungie cut that in part because, when they went through the concept art, they felt like they would have to give away too much about the Forerunners. Dan was originally assigned to this level and Guardian Forest." - Dan Miller (Retrieved on Oct 10, 2021) [archive]
  14. ^ Twitter, Paul Russel (@Dr_Abominable): "That's a trace of a screenshot I took of one of the concepts. I think version 3 of a city." (Retrieved on Oct 30, 2020) [archive]
  15. ^ Twitter, Vic Deleon (@vicdeleon): "So here's three shots taken in-game wayyy back in 2005 running a version of the #Halo 2.5-3 engine. The idea was to design an abandoned Forerunner "living space" with courtyard, and fallen into disrepair. @Dr_Abominable made the original structures and I modified, added entropy." (Retrieved on Apr 14, 2020) [archive]
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Twitter, Max Hoberman (@MaxHoberman): "Oh, there were also a few questions about some of the working map names in the UI mockups that I shared. Here's where things stood at the end of Halo 3 preproduction. This is from a presentation that I put together summing up our multiplayer, UI, and online plans." (Retrieved on Aug 25, 2020) [archive]
  17. ^ Twitter, KornnerStudios #UnidentifiedWin32Phenomena (@KornnerStudios): "Check out Kiera’s other tweets looking at cut/different iterations of DLC maps for H3, which are included in the H3ODST editing kit (b/c ODST was forked from H3 while DLC was being worked on, so they live in ODST’s tags and were trivial to include) #HaloMCC #Modding" (Retrieved on Jul 19, 2023) [archive]
  18. ^ Twitter, KornnerStudios #UnidentifiedWin32Phenomena (@KornnerStudios): "As I recall, Mrs Double Fire did some contract work for Bungie around the time of Halo3. This may have been their own work. You may be able to find some references to this searching @hbotweets news archives" (Retrieved on Jul 19, 2023) [archive]
  19. ^ Halo Waypoint, Halo: MCC - July 2023 Update (Retrieved on Jul 19, 2023) [archive]
  20. ^ a b c d ArtStation, Halo 3 DLC map concepts (Retrieved on Jul 19, 2023) [archive]
  21. ^ a b c d PC Gamer, October 2020 (Issue #348) - Special Report: Theaters of War, page 12-13
  22. ^ a b c Twitter, Max Hoberman (@MaxHoberman): "This is Pump Haüs, again from the end of H3 prepro. Here's another image. Yes, the theme is Halo 3 multiplayer maps from the end of preproduction. If you enjoyed this game maybe we'll play again sometime." (Retrieved on Apr 11, 2023) [archive]
  23. ^ a b Twitter, Max Hoberman (@MaxHoberman): "OK, let's play one more game. What's this" (Retrieved on Apr 11, 2023) [archive]
  24. ^ Halo Waypoint, Digsite Deliveries (Retrieved on Jul 19, 2023) [archive]
  25. ^ a b Twitter, Max Hoberman (@MaxHoberman): "@danjamin I owe you a chicken dinner. Yes, that's Warthog Inc., again at the end of Halo 3 preproduction (notice a theme?). Here's another angle on it." (Retrieved on Apr 11, 2023) [archive]
  26. ^ Twitter, Dan Callan (@danjamin): "I liked that map! I remember that little stretch of bumps, also weren't there some interesting device machine gimmicks too? I seem to recall some kind of gate but I could be crazy" (Retrieved on Apr 11, 2023) [archive]
  27. ^ Twitter, Max Hoberman (@MaxHoberman): "Yeah, doors in back you could bust through maybe? It's been a very long time." (Retrieved on Apr 11, 2023) [archive]
  28. ^ Reddit, Gameplay of Cut Halo 3 Multiplayer Level Warthog Inc. (Retrieved on Jul 7, 2021) [archive]
  29. ^ Twitter, Max Hoberman (@MaxHoberman): "Let's play another game. What's this? No cheating." (Retrieved on Apr 11, 2023) [archive]